Know Before You Go

Planning a trip to the Sunshine Coast? Here’s what you need to know before you go so that you can explore safely, responsibly, and respectfully.
 

Travel Updates and Information

Community Notices

Water usage: Stage 1 water conservation regulations come into effect on the Southern Sunshine Coast on May 1, 2024. The Sunshine Coast faces increased demand on drinking water resources during periods of drought. Conserving water is a collective effort—familiarize yourself with local water restrictions before you arrive and learn more about how to conserve water during your trip

Additionally, a 'Water Quality Advisory' has been issued for the community of Lund. This is not a boil water notice, but rather a notice that some customers may want to take additional precautions, such as those who are immunocompromised or pregnant. If you are staying in Lund, please inquire with your accommodation for more details.

Campfires: As of noon on May 17, 2024, Category 2 and 3 Open Fires are prohibited across the Sunshine Coast/qathet region. Currently, campfires are permitted, but any campfire must be no larger than 0.5m high x 0.5m diameter and a minimum of 3m (10ft) from combustible materials. Please continue to exercise utmost care and make sure all campfires are fully extinguished. Click here for details on fire bans and restrictions in the Coastal Fire Centre area. Call *5555 on a cell or 1.800.663.5555 (toll-free) to report a wildfire.

Bring your patience: Some local businesses are experiencing labour shortages. Please remember to be patient in the event of longer-than-normal wait times or unexpected closures. 

Backcountry Preparedness: Familiarize yourself with Leave No Trace principles and check out AdventureSmart as a great resource to help you get informed before heading outdoors. Remember the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials. 

Roads, Ferries & Transportation

Roads: Construction is underway in areas along Highway 101. Please check Drive BC for details on the current conditions on Highway 101, and leave some extra time to get to your destination. For all other roads on the Sunshine Coast, please visit scrd.ca/alerts for the South Coast and qathet.ca for the North Coast.

BC Ferries: The Sunshine Coast is a popular summer destination. Making a ferry reservation is recommended, but if you’re unable to make a reservation, keep in mind that space is also available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit bcferries.com for information on travel advisories, route status updates, and current conditions on major routes. You can also download the new BC Ferries app to book trips, check in at the terminal, and stay up-to-date with alerts.

Powell River Airport (YPW): A runway rehabilitation project is underway. Daytime flight schedules have resumed (starting June 8, 2024), while nighttime flight operations are set to resume following completion of the project later this summer. Click here for more information.

Parks & Trails

The bridge at the wetland (to the right of the campground) in Inland Lake Provincial Park has been damaged by storms. Inland Lake Trail is no longer fully accessible and the trail will not be a loop until the re-routing is complete.

Porpoise Bay Provincial Park is open for day use, however the Angus Creek trails between the beach and the amphitheatre are temporarily closed.

Visit the BC Parks website for information on provincial parks. Visit qathet.ca or scrd.ca for information on regional parks.

Short-term Rentals (STRs)

The Province of BC introduced new short-term rental rules effective May 1, 2024. This includes implementing a provincial principal residence requirement in most urban communities in BC; on the Sunshine Coast this applies to the District of Sechelt and the City of Powell River, but not the surrounding rural areas. Hosts will be required to display a business license in areas where they are required by a local government.

If you are planning a trip to the Sunshine Coast, you can check with your short-term rental host directly to confirm they comply with local government regulations and with BC’s new STR rules. Click here to learn more.

How to Be a Mindful Visitor on the Sunshine Coast

Being a mindful visitor requires a thoughtful approach to travel, one that will help ensure the sustainability of our resources, places, and spaces. To enhance your travel experience and make a positive contribution, these are some thoughtful actions you can take before and during a visit to our region:

  • Respect the Sunshine Coast’s places and spaces, and everyone who calls this place home.

  • Do not travel if you are sick, practice physical distancing when possible, and wash your hands regularly. Province-wide COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, but these are still good rules of thumb to follow year-round.

  • Plan ahead—book activities, accommodations, and experiences in advance.

  • Familiarize yourself with local water restrictions, and practice water conservation.

  • Adhere to safety protocols, including rules and guidelines at local businesses and in outdoor spaces such as community beaches, trails, and parks.  

  • Learn the principles of Leave No Trace and check out AdventureSmart to prepare yourself before embarking on outdoor adventures.

  • Support local. Seek out independent shops and boutiques, eateries, and more.

It is important to acknowledge that the Sunshine Coast region is home to the traditional, unceded, and ancestral territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, shíshálh, Tla’amin, Klahoose, and Xwémalhkwu Nations. Anytime you are exploring the Sunshine Coast, please remember to be safe, responsible, and respectful.
 

Travelling to BC

For the latest information on travel to Canada including any federal requirements and restrictions, please visit the Government of Canada website.

Travellers are encouraged to reference Destination BC’s “Know Before You Go” page for information on the latest travel restrictions and updates in British Columbia.
 

Start Planning Your Next Trip

Check out our trip ideas to get some inspiration for your next getaway to the Sunshine Coast, visit our travel deals & packages page to see what our partners have on offer, or reach out to one of our Visitor Centres for trip planning assistance.

Click here to view a digital version of the Sunshine Coast Travel Guide.

About the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is located on the southern coast of British Columbia, Canada, extending 180km between Howe Sound and Desolation Sound.

Travel Guide & Maps

Looking for some trip inspiration and planning tools? Check out the Sunshine Coast Travel Guide, as well as a variety of local maps and resources.

Itinerary Planner

Plan your next trip to the Sunshine Coast. Add business listings, upcoming events, and special offers to your itinerary before sharing it with your travel companions.

Trip Ideas

Need some trip ideas and inspiration for your Sunshine Coast trip? Try these suggested touring routes & itineraries to inspire your next trip to the Sunshine Coast, BC.

Blog

Learn more about the Sunshine Coast with our latest stories, blog, and news updates.